House, HOA and Surroundings Obtain a copy of the public records for the property to confirm house and lot size as well as actual taxes. If there is any vacant land in sight, independently confirm its projected use and current zoning. This is really important! Whether in a older part of Denver that is being re-devloped or in a new subdivision, you do not want to be surprised by what gets done next door or across the street. Contact the HOA management company and learn proactively the condition of the HOA and any past or planned “special assessments” or dues increases. This is an extremely important step if you are moving into a community where your HOA dues cover maintenance. May HOA’s at the 15-20 year point find themselves significantly under-funded. Do I need a “survey”? You may want an Improvements Location Certificate (ILC) or a boundary survey to be sure that you know what you are purchasing. The ILC is a survey “light”. It does identify whether or not structures or fences on your property encroach on any adjoining and whether or not adjoining encroach on yours. The cost for an ILC is usually $135-$200 and is a small investment to know what you have. If you are buying in the older part of “old” Denver, an ILC is a must have. I see far many encroachment issues in these areas and do not allow my clients to purchase here without an ILC. Survey’s are usually only necessary if you have plans for an addition, a detached garage or a fence. The true survey provides the same information as the ILC and, in addition, actually finds or installs the corner pins. You cannot depend on an ILC for exact locations but you can with a survey. Depending on lot size and how far the surveyor has to travel, the charge for a true survey will start at $750.00. Review the Title Commitment Within a few days after contract acceptance you should receive a “commitment to insure title” from the title company. The majority of these do not contain detrimental information but that is not a reason to ignor it. Read it carefully. Discuss any questions with your buyer’s agent. You will probably be referred to an attorney for interpretation a Colorado licensing law does not allow real estate licensee’s to address title questions. Obtain Property Insurance. Do that within the established time period. Every once in awhile there is a home that is not reasonably insurable and you do not want to lose this contract protection by being late.